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Contemporary Political

Class 7. Strauss and the
Problems of Political Philosophy
Professor Nicholas Tampio
Fordham University

Leo Strauss

B. 1899 Germany, Orthodox Jewish parents

Teachers: Ernst Cassirer (Enlightenment),
Heidegger (Existentialism),
Scholem (Kabbal)
1932 - Left Germany, Paris, England
1937 - Columbia University
1938-48 - New School for Social Research
1949 - Hamilton College
1949-68 - University of Chicago
1969-73 - Claremont McKenna, St. Johns
1973 - d.

Major Works

1930 - Spinozas Critique of Religion

1935 - Philosophy and Law: Maimonides
1936 - The Political Philosophy of Hobbes
1950 - On Tyranny
1953 - Natural Right and History
1958 - Thoughts on Machiavelli
1959 - What is Political Philosophy?
1964 - The City and Man (Plato, Aristotle,
1987 - History of Political Philosophy (3rd ed)

Famous Straussians
Harvey Mansfield, Harvard, Manliness
Allan Bloom, Chicago,The Closing of the
American Mind
William Bennett, Secretary of Education,The
Book of Virtues
Francis Fukuyama, JHU SAIS,The End of
History and the Last Man
William Galston, Brookings Institute
Arlene Saxonhouse, University of Michigan

Paul Wolfowitz
Deputy Secretary of
Defense during the
US led invasion of
President of the
World Bank
American Enterprise

The Power of Nightmares

(BBC, 2004)

The Problem of Political


P. 2 - It is a great honor
Pp. 3-6 - The meaning
Pp. 12-4 - Political philosophy as
Pp. 15-16 - It goes without
Pp. 23 - It is only at this point

Leo Strauss
1. Leo Strauss, 1899-1973
2. Positivism (value-neutral political
science, eg. Machiavelli) and
historicism (relativism, eg. Heidegger)
3. Nihilism
5. History of political philosophy